Attorney General

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) provides legal advice and support to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) who give legal advice to government. The AGO helps the Law Officers perform other duties in the public interest, such as looking at sentences which may be too low.


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Secretary of State

Suella Braverman MP
Attorney General
Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
Shadow Ministers
Shadow Secretaries
Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)
Shadow Ministers
Ellie Reeves (Labour)
Shadow Solicitor General

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

9 Jul 2020, 5:14 p.m.
The Attorney General thanked the @CPS for all their hard work during the pandemic and for having the digital capabilities to allow its prosecutors to continue their vital work with minimal disruption. #AGQuestions https://t.co/LFUfHyPjP1 - Link
9 Jul 2020, 4:47 p.m.
The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme has had a number of recent successes, including the first controlling or coercive ULS where the offender’s sentence was increased from a 2 year community order to 3 years’ imprisonment. #AGQuestions https://t.co/f4spFA5V67 - Link
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Attorney General Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Date Type Title
Apr. 28 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Sep. 25 Urgent Questions Legal Advice: Prorogation
Jun. 09 Written Statements Criminal Procedure Investigations Act Code of Practice: Attorney General’s Guidelines
Jul. 23 Westminster Hall Transport Links: Nottinghamshire
Dec. 11 Adjournment Debate Shooting of Abdulkarim Boudiaf
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Attorney General has not tabled any Bills during the current Session.


Attorney General - Laid Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
2 Jun 2020
In Force
Not stated
Attorney General Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2020
Parliamentary Status - Legislation
Made negative procedure
This Order is made under section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23). Section 3 sets out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions. These include taking over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force, unless the proceedings are specified in an Order made by the Attorney General under section 3(3).
Laid
2 Jun 2020
In Force
Not stated
Attorney General Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2020
Parliamentary Status - Legislation
Made negative procedure
This Order is made under section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23). Section 3 sets out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions. These include taking over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force, unless the proceedings are specified in an Order made by the Attorney General under section 3(3).
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Attorney General Publications


Attorney General Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
10 Jul 2020, 1:47 p.m. Administration of Estates Wera Hobhouse

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how many estates of people who died without known entitled relatives and left a will were referred to the Bona Vacant Division of the Government Legal Department in (a) March, (b) April and (c) May in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Bona Vacantia Division (BVD) of the Government Legal Department (GLD) deals with the solvent estates of people domiciled in England & Wales who appear to have died without leaving a valid will or relatives entitled to share in their estates in priority to the Crown. It therefore does not generally deal with estates where there is a valid will.

If the referral contains information which suggests the deceased has left a valid will disposing of their entire estate, it will be returned to the person who referred it. The Division does not keep a record of these estates.

If the deceased does not appear to have left a valid will or entitled relatives, the estate will be advertised on the Division’s website.

Occasionally the Division determines that the deceased has left a valid will which disposes of the entire estate after it has been advertised. There were two such estates referred in March 2019; two in April 2019; none in May 2019; one in March 2020; one in April 2020 and one in May 2020.

Estates where the deceased has left a valid will but it does not dispose of the entire estate are sometimes referred to the Division because the undisposed residue passes by intestacy to the Crown. One such estate was referred to the Division in March 2019 and one in April 2019. There have been no other referrals in the months concerned.

During the corresponding period, the number of estates referred to the Division where there was no will or no will has subsequently come to light were: March 2019 = 296; April 2019 = 187; May 2019 = 160; March 2020 = 192; April 2020 = 204; May 2020 = 81.

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